Rage Against the Machine’s RNC Viral Video

Cross-posted with Social Studies:

Fans of Rage Against the Machine turned out to see the controversial L.A. band play a set at the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol during a non-partisan concert surrounding the Republican National Convention Tuesday.

Due to a number of reasons — timing, crowd control, politics — the band was not allowed to take the stage. So instead of performing on the stage as scheduled, they pushed their way to the front of the crowd and sang a few songs a capella through a borrowed police megaphone.

A friend of mine recorded some video of the performance and uploaded it to YouTube; then I posted it to the Minneapolis Metblog, and from there it spread like… well, like a virus.

As a benchmark, I know the video had 74 views when I first watched it Tuesday morning. As a result of coverage on Current TV, LA Times, Rolling Stone, Boing Boing, Reddit and others, it currently has 195,000 views.

Why did this video spread so virally? It was a myriad of factors: compelling political views, raw anti-authoritive messaging, a famous band and the kicker — nearly zero coverage by the mainstream media.

Instead, a music blogger armed with a camera became a journalist covering a breaking news story.

And now you too can watch the video (language warning) and even download mp3s of the songs…

Rage Against the Machine : “Bulls on Parade: RNC A CAPELLA @ MN STATE CAPITOL” [mp3]

Some days I love the Internet way too much.